In a recent interview with the Guardian, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, said: “When we created the Scarlett console, it was a few years ago, and our management team had discussed: “Are we going to launch another console?” Cloud platforms and streaming media were not trending at the time, and the management team’s concern was: “Is it necessary to surpass today’s Xbox One performance from a design perspective?”
In fact, we’ve seen the answer to that question, because Microsoft has confirmed that it will release the Xbox Scarlett in the Christmas season in 2020. But if the question is answered today, Microsoft’s answer is likely to be different.
The most important thing in Microsoft’s Xbox division is no longer the console. Microsoft has already made a big investment in streaming and services, has launched the Xbox Game Pass and has been a stage success, and they are testing the xCloud project to keep up with streaming cloud games.
If many people can buy a new generation of Xbox consoleis is a good thing, but so many generations of console competition we have long seen that the console hardware itself is a flat or even loss-making trade, the real profits are in the game. But now the game has become more and more mobile, with the advent of cloud games, even the past 3A experience can be played on the phone at any time, then the “core” game experience of the sofa TV console demand and market, if not reduced, will stop growth.
So the question raised by Microsoft executives is becoming more and more important today: “Is it necessary to surpass today’s Xbox One performance?”
We’ve seen intergenerational hardware upgrades like the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X work. And if the DESIGN of the PS5 and Xbox Scarlett doesn’t make much of a leap and difference, and the handle or the double rocker twelve buttons are down-compatible with the game library, it’s no different from the intergenerational upgrade.
What we know about next-generation hosts is only some numerical details, the specifics of which are not yet known. But if the host hardware continues on current trends and Microsoft is aware of the problem, the Xbox Scarlett is likely to be Microsoft’s last host hardware.